Herath sets record as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 259 runs

GALLE: Captain Rangana Herath claimed six wickets in the second innings to help Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 259 runs in the first cricket test in Galle on Saturday.

Sri Lanka dismissed Bangladesh for 197 runs in its second innings in the penultimate session of the match to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Resuming from its overnight score of 67-0, Bangladesh had big hopes of saving the test, but lost opener Soumya Sarkar to the second ball of the day when Asela Gunaratne bowled him for 53. The tourists never recovered.

Mominul Haque was trapped leg before wicket for 5 by Dilruwan Perera, with the batsman unsuccessfully challenging the decision.

Herath then struck twice in an over to get a firm grip on the game. Former captain Shakib Al Hasan was spectacularly caught by Dimuth Karunaratne at leg-slip for 8 and two balls later Mahmudullah Riyad was trapped leg before wicket without scoring.

With Bangladesh losing five wickets in the first hour, its hopes of drawing the match were fading fast.

But captain Mushfiqur Rahim and wicketkeeper Liton Das took the team through to lunch without further drama, reaching their 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket, while gathering dark clouds gave the visitors some hope.

However, the sixth-wicket stand was broken soon after lunch when Mushfiqur was caught behind down the leg-side off Lakshan Sandakan for 34.

"We had our chances. The last night, the way the openers batted it didn't look a bad wicket," Mushfiqur said. "We had lot of hopes that we could draw this game. We had to survive the first hour. But we lost five wickets in that first hour and then it becomes very difficult. There was a slight hope but we didn't play well and we didn't deserve to draw the game."

There wasn't much resistance from the tail as Sri Lanka wrapped up the game well before tea to go 1-0 up in the series.

Stand-in captain Herath entered the records books when he dismissed Liton Das to claim his 363rd test wicket. That took Herath past New Zealander Daniel Vettori's record for the most test wickets by a left-arm spinner.

Soon Herath completed his 29th five-wicket haul in tests when he bowled Mustafizur Rahman for a duck. Herath finished with 6-59.

"I don't know how long I will go on and how long I will have my form," Herath said. "But I would like to get to 400 wickets."

The second test starts Wednesday at P. Sara Oval in Colombo.

"If we had shown more character, we could have done something," Mushfiqur said. "We don't have much time before the next game and we need to play hard in Colombo."